The Royal Oak has an impressive history in that it is a 17th coaching inn and has been run as a pub and restaurant by the same family ever since 1967. In 2017 they celebrated fifty years of bringing great beers and ales, plus hearty homemade food to the local people of Chipping Sodbury and tourists alike, who would all no doubt raise a foaming beer glass with a satisfied smile to the recent reopening after the pandemic.
Happily nothing has changed the large fireplace with wood burning stove still provides a warm welcome, along with the cheery staff and the masters of the Sunday roast tirelessly working away in the kitchen. Lest it should be thought it’s all about the food, The Royal Oak pride themselves on the care of their beers, lagers and ciders, taking trouble to see that they are stored to be served at their optimum and at the correct temperature. That goes too for your glass of Shiraz as a treat after work, or a birthday glass of bubbly.
We were having Sunday lunch, something for which the Royal Oak is famed and especially nice for me as I was just a bit fed up of cooking our own for the last eighteen months or so. We ordered battered chilli and mango king prawns to share as a starter making the assumption that the roast would be generous in portion (it was astonishingly so!), followed by breast of chicken with sage stuffing wrapped in smoked bacon for me, and roast leg of lamb for my husband. You can also have a mixed meat dish – topside of beef and leg of lamb, and everything is served with roast potatoes, Yorkshire pudding, gravy and a selection of seasonal vegetables.
We enjoyed the king prawns very much, they were artistically arranged on a bed of salad and watercress, garnished with orange, with a chilli dip on the side, together with a nice plate of thin sliced brown bread and butter, it was the perfect starter to share.
The roasts arrived, preceded by a tray groaning with side dishes, carrots, broccoli, peas, new potatoes, cauliflower cheese, mint sauce, redcurrant sauce, and after that I lost count. A large jug of piping hot gravy, made robustly thick just how I like it, came along with our chosen dishes of chicken and lamb both topped off with a large fluffy Yorkshire pudding and crunchy roasters. We didn’t know where to start. The chicken was excellent, succulent and moist and the lamb tender as could be. Whoever makes the gravy deserves a shout out as it was just like my mum (and everybody’s mum) used to make and was the crowning glory of the lunch!